Colorado; One Year Mark
Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, January, 7th 2015 by THCFinder
January 1st will mark the one year anniversary of legal marijuana in the state of Colorado. They have been working extremely hard to regulate the sale and taxation of marijuana over the course of the year and the sales have constantly been through the roof. People lined up for blocks on the first day in order to get their hands on some of the legal weed. There have been plenty of ups and downs of the last year but the state is standing strong, even after neighboring states Oklahoma and Nebraska sued Colorado, hoping that the US Supreme Court will rule that legalized recreational cannabis is unconstitutional since it effects the neighboring states.
“I think myself and almost every elected official in the state of Colorado, we didn’t want to be the social laboratory but our voters passed it by a large margin - 55 to 45,” states John Hickenlooper, the governor of Colorado and someone who actually opposes marijuana legalization. “And we accept that this is going to be one of the great social experiments of the next 50 years.”
The state of Colorado has more than 800 outlets that allow the sale of marijuana. In Denver, there are more weed stores than Starbucks. But the state is seeing the benefits of such heavy marijuana sales. The tax revenue in the first nine months of legalization made the state $43 million in taxes. Local municipalities collected millions more than that. Taxing cannabis has proven to be extremely beneficial for the state, even though there have been issues like the edible regulation and dosing.
Another low point of the Colorado legal weed trade is the fact that testing has been tough. Genifer Murray, the founder of Cannalabs, says that she’s found ecoli, mildew, and mold in some of the strains that she’s tested in her lab. It is extremely important that the strains coming out of the shops are the highest of quality. But there are some growers out there that happen to be producing less than desirable products.
But while the lows have been low, the highs are pretty high as well. The Colorado symphony made pot pay, raising money with bring-your-own-bud parties. The taxes from the plant are still making bank and the people keep visiting the state in order to get a glimpse at one of the most successful marijuana business states. All in all, Colorado is doing pretty well.
The Road To Marijuana Acceptance
Category: Culture | Posted on Tue, January, 6th 2015 by THCFinder
Even though people have been using marijuana for many different purposes for thousands of years, President Nixon still decided to start the war on drugs in 1970, signing the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, which includes the Controlled Substances Act, as part of the “war”. Congress then proceeded to mark cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance, saying that it has a high potential for abuse, no medical use, and no safety standards in medically supervised treatments. So the government made cannabis and everything to do with it illegal.
Starting in 1996 in California, people began to fight back. When the sunny west coast state passed the Compassionate Use Act Initiative, it amended the California Constitution. More states followed California’s move, allowing the use of medical marijuana. Now, there are 23 states that allow patients to ingest, cultivate, and purchase marijuana. Then, in 2012, Colorado and Washington took the next step and made marijuana fully legal in their states, meaning anyone over the age of 21 could possess the plant and ingest it in their homes. 2014 brought more changes in the states, with Alaska, Oregon, and Washington DC legalizing recreational marijuana as well.
Unfortunately for states, the federal government still interfered with the laws that were passed. Even after a series of changes to the Controlled Substance Act, saying that the states could enforce their own laws, there were still issues with federal officials butting their heads in to marijuana businesses. Raids were at an all time high and even those people who were allowed to use marijuana according to state law were worried for their legal safety. But on October 28, 2014, the Department of Justice issued a memorandum saying that Native American tribes will be permitted to grow and sell marijuana on their land. This includes tribes that are located in illegal states. The tribes are required to put forth a strict regulatory system that will protect federal priorities, like the distribution of the plant to minors.
Following the passing of that memorandum, December 14, 2014 brought more change with Congress passing the 2014 Continuing Resolution Omnibus spending bill. It actually prevents the Department of Justice, which includes the FBI and DEA, from interfering with medical marijuana laws. The DOJ is also prohibited from using any federal funds to prevent states from creating medical marijuana structures that include cultivation, distribution, and consumption of medical marijuana.
Massachusetts Schools To Offer Course On Marijuana
Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, January, 5th 2015 by THCFinder
There are many people that probably thought that they would never see the day where a positive class about marijuana would be taught in schools. Not only that but never did people think that there would be fully established schools that are dedicated to teaching about marijuana. Jeanne Ficcardi-Sauro was one of the first students that enrolled at the new Northeastern Institute of Cannabis or NIC. The school is a two classroom school that is located in an office park that prepares people for positions in the marijuana business. Teachings range from jobs like dispensary workers to medical marijuana educators. Seeing as how dispensaries are set to open within the next year in Massachusetts, NIC has already graduated 12 students and 64 more have enrolled for the next bout of classes.
Help wanted ads are beginning to pop up on Monster.com, according to Keith Saunders, a sociology professor who oversees the curriculum at NIC. He figures that with each of the state’s 15 approved dispensaries, there will be a need for at least 35 to 40 workers, continuing to hire more as the businesses expand. “When the dispensaries roll out, it will happen quickly,” he said. There are other schools like NIC in the Massachusetts area. New England Grass Roots Institute in Quincy, MA caters to the medical marijuana patients and the Cannabis Career Institute occasionally offers business training sessions in Boston, regarding marijuana.
NIC students receive a certificate of completion when they graduate the school. Each student must complete twelve four-hour courses, which includes medical marijuana 101. This class covers the basics of marijuana as a medicine, the law regarding cannabis in New England, an overview of the laws, and cultivation techniques. The only downside is that there is no actual marijuana on site. Instead, the school is strictly academic. Additionally, students must pass two hour long exam and pass with a 70% or higher on each of the 12 sections, with a final grade of 75% or higher. The length of the program is four to six weeks and as of right now, costs $2,000. The price will drop on January 1st to $1,500.
Predicting exactly how many jobs will be created by the new program is hard to say but it will most likely be a significant number. With the call for growers, bud tenders, trimmers, managers, delivery services, etc, the marijuana business will create hundreds if not thousands of new jobs in the Massachusetts area.
Colorado Marijuana Remains Untested For Chemicals
Category: Culture | Posted on Mon, January, 5th 2015 by THCFinder
One of the expected benefits of having marijuana sold in stores is the belief that the quality will be outstanding. Some stoners that buy weed from street dealers know that the buds can sometimes be contaminated with mold, mildew, mite eggs, and possibly even the sour taste of a smell-masking agent that seeped in to the weed while in transit. But while Washington state has been testing their marijuana for contaminants for the last six months, Colorado hasn’t been. Washington marijuana enforcement could explain most of the details of the state testing, while Colorado’s couldn’t even inform USA Today of potency test results.
The rocky mountain state has been struggling to define the criteria for testing contaminated marijuana and as of right now, there is only potency tests of marijuana products. As said above, even those results are somewhat iffy. “We made the decision from the beginning this was going to be an open and transparent system,” Washington State Liquor Board Spokesperson Brian Smith said. “We made it available so all of the people who really wanted this could have access to it pretty regularly.” If a tourist heading to Washington wants to know specifics of the marijuana business in the state, they can visit the website and find all sorts of information from the enforcement of the laws to the names of the edibles that are being sold.
Colorado hopes to begin their testing of contaminated marijuana in early 2015. State officials are still working on implementing their testing structure. It also remains unknown if the state will allow the results of these tests to be published on their website. This includes the results of how much of the cannabis in Colorado is contaminated. “We need to highlight that,” Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) said. “I think it’s our job to make that more important and I appreciate your work in making it more important too.” Hopes remain high that the marijuana in Colorado isn’t too shifty when it comes to contaminants.
Aspen Launches Marijuana Education Program For Tourists
Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, January, 1st 2015 by THCFinder
Not everyone is a seasoned marijuana user. Those that are flocking to Colorado and Washington to experience legal weed sometimes have never smoked a joint before in their lives. Not only that but edibles effect people far differently, depending on who you are. The sherifs in Aspen, Colorado are working on a solution to this problem however. They are implementing an educational program geared towards the skiers and snowboarders that crowd the area during the winter. This new program starts right when visitors get off of the plane, as the airport has added a brochure on marijuana legalization in the state.
Pat Bingham, a spokesperson for the airport in Aspen, says “It’s the brochure rack and it has information on everything from trails on the ski areas to a day at the Aspen Club and now, the local guide to retail marijuana.” As of right now, the brochure doesn’t seem to be that popular but the busy season hasn’t started yet. The brochure contains the most frequently asked questions regarding the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, including how much tourists are allowed to consume, where you can consume it, and how long different highs take to set it.
Joe DiSalvo is the sherif in Aspen and formed a coalition in 2012 with the hospital, school district, and the business community to push a heavy education program about pot. “When the legalization of marijuana happened, we all agreed that while we may not agree with it, we agree that we have to roll this out real responsibly with a heavy, heavy, heavy educational campaign,” DiSalvo says. The brochure is the coalitions first step towards educating people on marijuana when they come to Colorado.
The goal of the group is to make sure that there are as many brochures as possible circulating the tourists hands this busy season. With many hotels in the area carrying the informational packets, there are also lodges, stores, and other public buildings that are stocking up to educate the people.
Four Lessons Learned From Colorado In The Last Year
Category: Culture | Posted on Thu, January, 1st 2015 by THCFinder
More states are jumping on the legal marijuana bandwagon. In 2014, Alaska, Washington DC, and Oregon all passed legalization measures, allowing their citizens to consume, possess, and cultivate marijuana. Recently, the US Justice Department passed legislature allowing American Indian tribes to join the legal marijuana market. But what has been learned over the course of the last year while everyone’s eyes remained locked on Colorado?
First off, it’s important to establish a legal framework for the sale and distribution of the plant. Considering it is still federally illegal, there are some grey areas when it comes to what’s legal and what’s not. While it isn’t allowed for the states to trump federal law, the US is a democracy and the citizens of these states voted to have these measures passed. But with the allure of such a large revenue to be made, states can’t help but work hard towards regulating the plant.
The second lesson would be more strict regulations on things such as BHO extraction. There were a lot of issues with people in Colorado causing explosions while trying to extract the oil themselves. While it may seem easy to do while you’re watching it on YouTube, the process of extracting THC to make BHO is difficult and requires the know-how of a professional. Establishing somewhat stricter guidelines for the production of this form of concentrated cannabis is definitely something that newly legalized states and areas need to take in to consideration.
Setting regulations for testing and contaminated marijuana is extremely important. People want to know that their legal marijuana is safe to consume. There have been many different contaminants found in cannabis, ranging from ecoli to mold and mildew. There should be testing of the marijuana before it is sold in stores to make sure that consumers are getting a safe and healthy product to smoke. Washington managed to tackle this problem head on but Colorado is still struggling to set up a system to test their weed for dangerous additives.
The last lesson would be that there should be a more stable system to label edibles. The packing rules should be set forth before companies start packing their products and distributing them. There should be a way to label these products to say exactly how much THC they contain, dosing instructions, and suggested wait time before going to town on a bag of medicated brownies. There have been numerous questionable incidents involving medicated treats since legalization in Colorado and Washington so it’s important to let people know what they’re eating before they eat too much.
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